26 SES 10 A, Leadership for Democratic Citizenship Part 1: Changing Contexts
Section 1-1 in the Norwegian education act states that the objectives of education and training is to promote core values that are rooted in human rights, such as e.g. respect for human dignity, equality, solidarity, and democracy. Since the turn of the millennium, the discourses surrounding schools have been changing. New Public Management, external accountability regimes, and emphasis on consumer rights are trickling into and influencing how we think and talk about education, thus slowly transforming the conditions for educational leadership. In this paper I will build on critical theory (e.g. Anderson, 2009; Apple & Beane, 1999; Sachs, 2001) in the development of an analytic framework for analyzing changing contexts for democratic leadership in schools. Empirical data are selected form a longitudinal study of the roles of policy, administration and institutions in implementing educational reform (Aasen et al. , 2012), and include policy documents, interviews with stakeholders in schools, municipalities and the central government, and a national survey. The results suggest that although issues of control, accountability and performativity are getting stronger, many principals continue their efforts to develop their schools towards the ideal of democracy as a way of life, as advocated by Dewey (1937).
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